We begin in 39 A.D., in a cell made of stone. A body awakens and emerges from this horrible chamber to find one named Sagan – a man who addresses the wounded person as “friend and teacher” before offering a robe to cover themselves with and a body for the prisoner to lean on while journeying down the road. This intriguing beginning comes from the Halabi Family Journal…and leads readers into a tale that will make them feel every human emotion by the time it’s complete.
Haway (pronounced Howie by her peers) Halabi is in America. We greet this person as the “star” of the story, so to speak, as she boards the number 1 bus into downtown Boise, Idaho. When Haway was orphaned, she became a Syrian refugee and began living with her Uncle Dahan in small-town America. She is currently a college co-ed, and shows a bit of resentment and sometimes anger at the people around her.
One day, she comes home to find that her uncle, her last known living relative, has suffered an unexpected and far-too-early death. Now, a journey begins that is beyond confusing for Haway. You see, her family has a secret from long ago that no one can know; a secret that she alone possesses that causes others to pursue her as if she were a criminal. These people who wish to uncover her secret force Haway to go on a personal pilgrimage.
Readers walk beside Haway during her struggles and basically play a part in her own self-discovery, watching her alter her ideas and beliefs as she meets and greets a variety of characters who touch her heart in some ways, and alter her perceptions of life in other ways. Breaking the information up into sections, from Haway’s experiences to excerpts from the Halabi Family Journal to Dahan’s experiences and more, everyone from Navy translators to officers of the law to people in the religious community appear. There are so many people, places and events, in fact, that the reader views a true tapestry of life.
It is a shame that the author of this book has passed on; it would be interesting to learn what aspects of her own life are embedded in these scenes. From action to drama to a bit of comedy at times, some will find themselves caring for Haway and her need to protect her family secret. Others will find her difficult to warm up to because of her initial comments in regards to life in America and the “lazy” people who dwell here. She has a very hard exterior which makes for a very complex story. In other words, if you’re looking for a quick “summer” read, this is not the one to choose.
Quill Says: Prepare for a character who, whether you end up liking her or understanding her attitudes and struggle, will stay in your mind long after the book has come to a close.
For further information on Roots, Rumors & Wrath, please visit the author's website at: www.danielabronzy.com